Company consults with greenkeepers as part of worldwide new product development programme to maintain its innovative leadership
Toro has staged its first Centre for Advanced Turf Technology (CATT) event in the UK, at The Wentworth Club.
The role of The Toro Company's CATT programme is to help maintain and develop Toro's global market leadership as a manufacturer of innovative products through its worldwide research into the science of turf management.
The Wentworth event, organised with distributor Lely UK, gave members of the CATT team's leading agronomists and engineers from Minneapolis world headquarters the opportunity to meet with an invited group of UK greenkeepers - to learn first-hand more about their needs in the development of new turf machinery and irrigation products and technologies.
Andrew Brown, Toro international corporate accounts manager, says: "CATT's success in identifying emerging trends within the turfcare market is directly linked to the way it takes the time to go out into the field to meet Toro and non-Toro users. It was a real pleasure to welcome CATT's managing director Dana Lonn and chief engineer Jack Gust to the UK to help them with their research.
"Work with customer groups like this has led to the development of revolutionary new products, such as the Reelmaster 3100-D Sidewinder, and new technologies like the electric-powered Greensmaster eFlex 21, the industry's first lithium-ion battery-driven greensmower."
The day included outdoor demonstrations of machines developed through the CATT initiative. And Dana Lonn gave a presentation giving an insight into its operations and the importance placed by Toro on developing industry-leading products that increase productivity, reduce fuel or save water.
This was illustrated by the story of Toro Precision Sense soil mapping technology. Developed by the CATT team, this award-winning wireless sensing technology enables collection of data covering soil compaction, moisture levels, turf vigour and salinity for a bespoke approach to irrigation. Paul Woodham from the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) demonstrated it to those attending.
Toro says that round table discussions produced a number of good ideas for the CATT team, as well as reinforcing research already underway.